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Bison Ranchers and Stewards Asked to Complete Bison Health and Management Study

Posted by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service staff in Research and Science
Jul 01, 2022
Mount Rushmore busts of American Presidents and bison in South Dakota

What comes to mind when you think of South Dakota? Is it the Black Hills, presidential busts and bison? According to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, South Dakota has the largest inventory of bison of any state in the United States, with over 30,000 bison spread across 99 farms and ranches. We will update these numbers and find out if this holds true with the upcoming 2022 Census of Agriculture. Census of Agriculture data collection begins this fall.

Did you know that 49 states have bison operations? Can you guess which state does not have any bison operations? The answer may surprise you. Find the answer at end of this article.

This summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will partner to conduct a national study focusing on ranched bison health and management (PDF, 1.6 MB) in the United States.

All known bison producers and stewards will receive a questionnaire in the mail and are encouraged to participate in the study. The study is designed to provide a snapshot of current health and management practices on U.S. bison operations. The information collected will also allow for the analysis of trends in specific topics related to bison health, based on a similar study conducted in 2014.

For more information, please contact, or click on the “NAHMS Bison 2022 Study” link on the NAHMS program page.

Answer: Did you guess Hawaii? Nope, Hawaii has bison operations! Rhode Island does not.

Category/Topic: Research and Science